Turkmen government 'orders people to exercise'

Still from state TV of Turkmen exercising outside their offices Image copyright Altyn Asyr TV
Image caption State TV has shown Turkmen officials exercising en masse outside their offices

People in Turkmenistan have been told to exercise as part of a month-long official campaign to promote healthy living, reports say.

State officials, workers and students have been participating in group exercise routines, and they are also required to attend a variety of sporting events, according to Chrono TM, a Vienna-based opposition website. The activities reportedly range from communal jogs and bike rides to horse races.

In the town of Dashoguz, on the border with Uzbekistan, local authorities ordered all local government institutions to send staff to a running event, the website says.

State television has been broadcasting footage of large groups of civil servants exercising outside their offices, some of which has been uploaded online by US-funded Radio Liberty. The Turkmen government has an absolute monopoly on the country's media.

The "Month of Health and Happiness" is now held annually in Turkmenistan on the order of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who is known as a healthy-living enthusiast. According to the government's website, the campaign forms part of his "wise and far-sighted policy" to keep citizens of the country healthy.

Image copyright Altyn Asyr TV
Image caption President Berdimuhamedov personally led a bike ride on 7 April

Next story: Octopus makes great escape from New Zealand aquarium

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.

Related Topics